NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Stocks gained Friday, with the Dow briefly topping 11,000 and the broad market ending higher for the seventh of eight weeks, as economic optimism trumped concerns about Greek debt.
The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) added 70 points, or 0.6%, closing at 10,997. The Dow got as high as 11,000 in the final 10 minutes of trading but ended the session just short of that. Still, it was the highest close for the Dow since Sept. 26, 2008, when it finished at 11,143.13.
Stocks drifted higher through the session as investors weighed competing influences at the end of a choppy week on Wall Street.
Stocks gained Thursday as upbeat sales reports from the nation's retailers helped provide optimism about the economic outlook, taking the edge off worries about Greece and other euro-zone debt issues.
Greece's borrowing costs eased a bit after hitting a record high Thursday on worries about its ballooning deficit. Talk of a bailout as soon as this weekend circulated Friday. On the downside, ratings agency Fitch cut its outlook on Greece's debt.
Worries that Greece's default could usher in a bigger European debt crisis have popped up repeatedly this year. But the concerns have been tempered in recent weeks as investors have focused on signs that the economic recovery is picking up strength, despite ongoing weakness in the labor and housing markets.
The Dow, Nasdaq and S&P 500 have all risen in seven of eight weeks.
Among stock movers Friday, strength in energy shares gave a lift to the broad market, but it was tempered by weakness in financials. Chevron (CVX, Fortune 500), Exxon Mobil (XOM, Fortune 500), Coca-Cola (KO, Fortune 500) and Walt Disney (DIS, Fortune 500) drove Dow gains. Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500), Yahoo (YHOO, Fortune 500) and Intel (INTC, Fortune 500) were among the Nasdaq's big movers.
Economy: Wholesale inventories rose 0.6% in February after climbing 0.1% in January, the Census Bureau reported Friday. Inventories were expected to rise 0.4% ,according to economists surveyed by Briefing.com.
World markets: In overseas trading, European markets rallied in the afternoon, with London's FTSE up 1%, France's CAC-40 up 1.5% and Germany's DAX up 1.2%. Asian markets ended higher.
Bonds: Treasury prices rose, lowering the yield on the 10-year note to 3.89% from 3.90% late Thursday. The 10-year had risen as high as 4% Monday, an 18-month high. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
The dollar and commodities: The dollar fell versus the euro and the yen.
COMEX gold for June delivery rose $9 to settle at $1,161.90 per ounce.
U.S. light crude oil for May delivery settled down 47 cents to $84.92 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Market breadth was mixed. On the New York Stock Exchange, winners beat losers two to one on volume of 971 million shares. On the Nasdaq, advancers edged decliners by seven to six on volume of 2.12 billion shares.
|Overnight Avg Rate||Latest||Change||Last Week|
|30 yr fixed||4.53%||4.42%|
|15 yr fixed||3.96%||3.88%|
|30 yr refi||4.53%||4.42%|
|15 yr refi||3.94%||3.86%|
Today's featured rates:
Europe's biggest low-cost airline is warning of the impact of rising fuel prices and higher staff pay. More
Producer and consumers may disagree. But analysts say the oil price was near perfect earlier this year. More
Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to have his testimony in the European Parliament live streamed, after facing pressure from senior European officials. More
In 1998, Ntsiki Biyela won a scholarship to study wine making. Now she's about to launch her own brand. More